Bamboo Flooring: What to Know

Wood floors are a luxury that a growing number of homeowners in South Texas are choosing to have in their homes.  Your interior designer can help you select the perfect color and type of wood for your needs, but it’s always good to walk into the conversation with some knowledge in hand.

Bamboo is a beautiful choice for flooring, it is not only an environmentally friendly choice (bamboo renews itself every four years) but also typically easier on the pocketbook.

Why is bamboo a good choice?

Because bamboo is actually a type of grass, it takes only five years to reach maturity while trees take fifty or more years.  Bamboo is a sustainable source of material which will also grow back after it has been cut.  It’s important to ask where and how your bamboo flooring was manufactured; some companies use toxic glues containing formaldehyde that can possibly release toxins into your home.

Types of Bamboo Flooring

There are three types of bamboo flooring that can be found.  The first is vertical cut or solid bamboo flooring, these are solid pieces of bamboo that have been bonded together which creates a thin striped appearance.

The second type of bamboo flooring is engineered or horizontal cut.  This is made of a solid layer of bamboo that has been adhered onto a substrate.  It’s the most common type of bamboo flooring and is easily recognized with distinctive horizontal bamboo ring marks.

The last type of bamboo flooring is strand-woven.  This is the most durable type of bamboo flooring because of the way in which it is made.  The bamboo is shredded and then is pressed with adhesives into a plank.  The result doesn’t appear very “bamboo-like” but is the most versatile as many different colors and lengths can be manufactured.

Colors & Durability

Modern bamboo flooring can be just about any color that you want, the technology to produce light, dark, and any color in between is readily available.

Compared with traditional hardwood flooring, bamboo flooring durability depends entirely on how it is manufactured.  The Janka Hardness Test finds strand-woven bamboo to be the most durable (over twice as durable as other types of bamboo flooring), but engineered and solid bamboo floors are comparable in durability to pine and beech wood floors.